D E C banner
D E C banner

Disclaimer

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Part 611: Environmental Priorities and Procedures In Petroleum Cleanup and Removal

(Statutory authority: Navigation Law, § 191)

[Effective 05/04/78]

[Amended 11/05/84]

[page 1 of 1]

Contents:

Sec.

§611.1 Authority, purpose and policy

(a) This Part is adopted pursuant to section 191 of the Navigation Law to implement the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Conservation under the provisions of article 12 of the Navigation Law, which prohibits the discharge of petroleum, provides for the licensing of major facilities, provides for the cleanup and removal of any petroleum discharge, giving first priority to minimizing environmental damage, and establishes an environmental protection and spill compensation fund.

(b) The provisions of this Part apply to the establishment by the Department of Environmental Conservation of priorities and procedures necessary to ensure prompt and environmentally correct cleanup and removal when a discharge occurs.

(c) It is the purpose of article 12 of the Navigation Law to ensure a clean environment and healthy economy for the State by preventing the unregulated discharge of petroleum which may result in damage to lands, waters or natural resources of the State by authorizing the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Conservation to respond quickly to such discharge and effect prompt cleanup and removal of such discharges, giving first priority to minimizing environmental damage, and by providing for the payment of all cleanup and removal costs and all direct and indirect damages resulting from such discharges through the New York environmental protection and spill compensation fund supervised by the State Comptroller.

(d) Any provision of this Part may be waived by the department representative, or in the absence of the department representative by the on-scene coordinator of the Department of Transportation, upon a determination that the application of this Part substantially endangers human life, health or safety.

§611.2 Definitions

Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions contained in section 172 of the Navigation Law shall be applicable to this Part. The following additional definitions) and clarifications shall be applicable to this Part:

(a) area of environmental value means an area used for waterfowl nesting and feeding, fish spawning and migration, shellfish beds, or wetlands, or significant habitats as determined by the department.

(b) Commissioner shall mean the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(c) To contain or containment means all actions to limit or prevent the spread of a petroleum discharge.

(d) Department shall mean the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(e) Discharge means any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of petroleum into the waters of the State or onto lands from which it might flow or drain into said waters, or into waters outside the jurisdiction of the State when damage may result to the lands, waters or natural resources within the jurisdiction of the State, excepting discharges pursuant to and in compliance with the conditions of a valid State or Federal permit.

(f) Major facility includes, but is not limited to any refinery, storage or transfer terminal, pipeline, deep water port, drilling platform or any appurtenance related to any of the preceding that is used or is capable of being used to refine, produce, store, handle, transfer, process or transport petroleum. A vessel shall be considered a major facility only when petroleum is transferred between vessels in the waters of the State of New York. Fueling operations and the like shall be excluded for the purposes of this definition. Facilities with total combined aboveground or buried storage capacity of less than 400,000 gallons are not major facilities for the purposes of this Part.

(g) Spill or spillage means any escape of petroleum from the ordinary containers employed in the normal course of storage, transfer, processing or use. A spill becomes a discharge only when petroleum reaches waters of the State, or lands from which it might flow or drain into said waters.

§611.3 Containment

(a) Policy. Containment must be initiated immediately after discovery of a discharge to reduce the costs of recovery, increase the recyclability of the recovered petroleum and minimize hazards to public health, economic loss and environmental damage.

(b) All containment procedures shall follow the guidelines contained in chapter 200 of the New York State Water Quality Accident Contingency Plan and Handbook.

§611.4 Environmental protection

The deployment of booms, physical barriers or other equipment specifically for the protection of areas of environmental value, as identified by the department representative, should occur in addition to the deployment of booms, physical barriers or other equipment to contain a discharge and/or to protect human life, health or safety.

§611.5 Prohibited and restricted chemicals

Unless written permission has previously been granted in the letter of certification and license, issued to a major facility pursuant to article 12 of the Navigation Law, and only under the express circumstances permitted therein for its use, no chemical shall be employed at a discharge site without approval from the department representative at the discharge site.

§611.6 Cleanup and removal

(a) The objective of the cleanup and removal phase is:

(1) rapid removal of the discharge to increase its recyclability and to minimize damage to the environment;

(2) continued protection of areas of environmental value and natural resources from both the discharge and the cleanup and removal operations;

(3) proper and environmentally sound disposal of unrecyclable petroleum and debris;

(4) the restoration of the environment to its pre-spill conditions;

(5) collection of injured fauna for rehabilitation; and

(6) the collection of evidence of damages to natural resources.

(b) All cleanup and removal procedures shall follow the guidelines contained in chapter 300 of the New York State Water Quality Accident Contingency Plan and Handbook (see section 611.7 of this Part).

(c) The primary cleanup and removal procedure shall be mechanical removal of the discharge for recycling as soon as possible.

(d) A secondary cleanup and removal procedure shall be the use of sorbents, preferably of small size, recoverable by mechanical means, of minimum toxicity toward flora and fauna, and, in decreasing order of preference, recyclable, burnable without releasing poisonous fumes, or biodegradable. The use of sorbents shall be limited to small discharge and final cleanup of large discharges.

(e) Disposal of recovered petroleum products and oil-soaked debris shall be permitted by the department representative only if recycling is not feasible.

(1) Recovered petroleum products shall be disposed of in the following manner, listed in order of decreasing environmental desirability:

(i) recycling as soon as possible;

(ii) incineration at high temperatures with adequate emission control equipment, complying with the provisions of Part 212 of this Title; and

(iii) land burial, if the recovered petroleum product is containerized and placed in a land burial site approved pursuant to Part 360 of this Title.

(2) Oil-soaked debris shall be disposed of in the following manner, listed in order of decreasing environmental desirability:

(i) recycling as soon as possible;

(ii) incineration at high temperatures with adequate emission control equipment complying with the provisions of Part 212 of this Title;

(iii) natural degradation on impermeable land;

(iv) land burial, in a site approved pursuant to Part 360 of this Title;

(v) sanitary landfill pursuant to Part 360 of this Title; and

(vi) onsite incineration if prior approval is given pursuant to Part 215 of this Title.

(3) Other methods of disposal may be employed with the prior approval of the department representative on scene.

(f) Unless otherwise authorized by the department representative on the scene, injured fauna shall be collected and rehabilitated only by department personnel or trained volunteers.

§611.7 References

(a) The following materials have been referenced in this Part: New York State Water Quality Accident Contingency Plan and Handbook, 1977, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12233.

(b) The materials referenced above are available for copying and inspection at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12233.